At Great Performances, we recognize the importance of composting, local food systems, and environmentally responsible practices. Not only do we produce exceptional and quality food but we also uphold high social and environmental standards.
A truly successful party is when we executed the event adhering to internal standards for good earth practices. We measure those less tangible successes - our environmental impact and community collaborations - and are constantly assessing systems to minimize food waste and the unnecessary use of natural resources. This is done by how much trash was diverted from landfills, how local or regional our menu was, and the greater social impact of an event.
Great Performances rolled out a comprehensive on-site composting program in 2009. We acknowledged that the decomposition of organic materials is the leading cause of methane gas emissions created by humans, twenty times more potent that CO2 emissions. To counter that, our kitchen, and many of our cafes and exclusive venues, separate organic matter from regular trash. For some events, we send transportable compost bins to capture uneaten food scraps to further divert organic material from being sent to landfills. In 2013, diverted over 100 tons of organic matter from entering a landfill and turned into a valuable resource – compost that is used to improve our nation’s soil.
Additionally, we are active in minimizing our
environmental footprint through:
Bio-degradable products - in 2007, Great Performances adopted the use of bio-degradable disposables at our cafes and internally. We have eliminated the use of Styrofoam at all of our cafes and reuse plastic receptacles whenever possible.
Cooking Oil - Great Performances collects the cooking oil from our commissary kitchen and uses it to heat the Katchkie Farm greenhouses. Any excess we sell to Tristate Biodiesel. This is a perfect example how being environmentally conscious benefits people, our planet, and our profits!
Katchkie Farm - In 2006, Great Performances purchased 60 acres of in the heart of Columbia County to start an organic farm and the home of our non-profit, The Sylvia Center. We use no pesticides, herbicides, and nurture the earth we own to ensure that the land will be preserved for generations to come.
Sourcing locally & seasonally - Our menus change with each season to adapt to the availability of produce locally and highlight regional flavors. This cuts down the food miles and ultimately, CO2 emissions. We collaborate with local food hubs and large distributors to improve farm to vendor sourcing and show our support for regional farms through our purchases.
Food Donations - Whenever there is excess food, our first priority is to deliver it to a food bank or pantry. Our community ties to various food organizations ensure that food is captured and consumed by those in need are fed.
Office Resources - The paper used by our offices is made from 100% post-consumer waste. We encourage staff to turn off all electrical devices when not in use to minimize energy usage and waste.
Water - Our kitchen and office provides drinking water and reusable water vessels to staff to minimize water and plastic waste.